Before we dig into the details of the Jewish calendar, let’s talk about the most holy day in the Jewish calendar — and it comes 52 times. Shabbat!
Shabbat: An Introduction
The basics of Shabbat are fairly straight forward. A day of rest for God, but that also gives us and those around us the opportunity to rest. The traditional restrictions on “work” actually have nothing to do with what we are compensated to do for a living. Rather, they are categories of labor that the rabbis interpreted as violating Shabbat, based on the labor done to build the Temple. See this sheet from Sefaria for more details.
Frankly, this approach to Shabbat that is more about what we do not do, versus what we can do, should do (and why) as well as how we build our own practice, is less than exciting to me.
- Watch the videos
- Try lighting Shabbat candles, saying kiddush, baking (or just saying the blessing) for challah. Or maybe experiment with havdalah
- Write about what that was like and we’ll talk about it during our session together
- Wanna “go pro level”? Read the chapter from Jewish With Feeling by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi or the Sefaria sheet above
Shabbat with BimBam
My pal Sarah Lefton founded the website BimBam (formerly called G-dcast) to bring Jewish texts to life through animation, and to create “meaningful Jewish screen time.” While these videos are a bit kid-centric, I find they are a nice alternative to the heavy reading about Shabbat.
Learning the Shabbat “Table” Blessings
A good skill to have that you can learn from spending time at Rabbi Patrick & Rebbetzin Stefanie’s house on Shabbat.
Good “kids versions” of the same video
And by the way, this is the best challah recipe ever.
Shabbat With Feeling
Jewish With Feeling by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (of blessed memory)
Read this chapter about introducing Shabbat into your life.
Rabbi’s Take: Zocher Shabbos (NSFW)
I am not “Shomer Shabbos” or “Shomer Shabbat”, the traditional phrasing for a Sabbath-keeping Jew. Instead I prefer to think of myself as “Zocher Shabbat”, a Shabbat Remembering Jew. My friend Rabbi Paskin talks more about this here.
Not sure what Shomer Shabbos means? Clearly you need to see The Big Lebowski. Here are all the Jewish clips — not safe for work 🙂 Please excuse all the bad words.